We recently partnered with ESL – Language Studies Abroad to share more about what makes Brisbane, Australia a great choice for international students. Embassy Brisbane Centre Director wrote about his top 10 favourite things to do in Brisbane for the budget conscious student.
To get the lay of the land, take bus 471 from the centre of Brisbane up to the lookout point on Mount Coot-tha. During the day, you can trek the surrounding walking trails, picnic by J.C. Slaughter Falls and visit the Botanic Gardens on your way down the mountain. At night, be dazzled by the romantic scene of the bright lights of Brisbane.
There’s no better way to get the feel of a new place than by trying its cuisine. Hop on the CityCat ferry along the Brisbane River to Brett’s Wharf, where you can stroll to the carnival setting of Eat Street Northshore. Feast your eyes on the endless food stalls serving up everything from tacos to okonomiyaki and sweet treats like candy floss and funnel cakes. With live local music, you’ll love the atmosphere!
Hours: Friday & Saturday: 4-10 p.m., Sunday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Hop on the train to visit Wynnum, one of the enchanting coastal villages on the outskirts of Brisbane. Here you can enjoy the charm of the quaint local bookshops, cafés and family beaches as well as stroll the stretch of boardwalk that weaves its way through Brisbane’s emblematic mangrove trees.
Brisbane boasts markets galore – the perfect place to mix and mingle with the locals! Check out the Collective Markets (open Friday evenings and Saturday and Sunday all day) where you can pick up local jewellery, get a henna tattoo and tuck into yummy street food. In the West End, the Boundary Street Markets (open Friday and Saturday evenings and all day Sunday) have all kinds of fabulous food stalls, while at the Saturday Davies Park Market you can find fresh produce and flowers plus tons of locally made artisan goods.
One of the most celebrated things to do in Brisbane is a good old-fashioned barbecue. Head to Kangaroo Point, which is full of free barbecue grills for public use. Try Captain Burke Park on the tip of the peninsula jutting into the river, or use some of the barbecues scattered along the top of the Kangaroo Point cliffs, which more adventurous travellers can climb (climbing isn’t cheap, but there is a Friday night student discount). Get your barbecue essentials from one of Brisbane’s local markets and “slip a shrimp on the barbie”!
The museum-packed South Bank is also home to The Wheel of Brisbane, a Ferris wheel with a great bird’s-eye view of Brisbane. Get a discount on the 10-12 minute ride by ordering online, with an extra discount for students.
Reminiscent of L.A.’s Melrose, shopping in Paddington is an experience! Wander along Given Terrace and Latrobe Terrace as you pop into eclectic vintage clothing shops, unique home goods stores and upscale Australian designer boutiques. Window shop to your heart’s content and refuel at the airy Atticus Finch Café with lentil and avocado salad or a delicious cup of their coffee.
It’s no secret that Brisbane’s live music scene is unparalleled, but you may not know about the free City Sounds concert series! Hosted in venues all over Brisbane, City Sounds seeks to showcase the best and brightest of new talent and local legends, all for free. You can always bank on a Saturday afternoon or evening concert in South Bank, but be on the lookout for free City Sounds concerts all over Brisbane!
Right in Brisbane’s Central Business District, Eagle Street Pier is the place to see and be seen. The swanky Jade Buddha Bar & Kitchen takes top honours on the pier, and if you’re on a budget, you can just grab a beer or take advantage of their super affordable lunch specials. Check out happy hour and lunch deals at Fratelli Famous and the Bavarian Bier Café, or impress your date with a glass of wine at the Mr and Mrs G Riverbar as the sun sets.
A rich history full of colonial prisons, raging fires and floods, a progressive music scene and so much more – you don’t need to venture far from the city centre to discover its historical anecdotes. Go on a self-guided tour of the city’s Heritage Trail that will give you a privileged peek into Brisbane’s past.
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